Kiru Hydel Project

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What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Why in News?
  • What is the Kiru Hydel Power Project?
  • Benefits of the Kiru Hydroelectric Power Project
  • What are the Corruption Allegations Surrounding the Kiru Hydel Project?

Why in News?

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids at locations linked to former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik.
  • The agency is investigating alleged corruption in the award of a contract for the Kiru Hydel Project, in J&K’s Kishtwar district.

What is the Kiru Hydel Power Project?

  • Kiru hydroelectric power project is a run-of-the-river scheme being developed over the Chenab River in the Kishtwar Tehsil of Doha district in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), India.
    • The project will be constructed between Kirthai II (upstream) and Kwar (downstream) hydroelectric plants.
  • The project is being developed by Chenab Valley Power Projects (CVPP), a joint venture between -
    • National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC, 49%),
    • Jammu & Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC, 49%) and
    • Power Trading Corporation (PTC, 2%).
  • It is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 4,287 crore for an installed capacity of
  • It was awarded scoping clearance by the Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in 2008.
  • Environment clearance was issued in 2016 and the project received approval from the State Administrative Council (SAC) in 2019.
  • The foundation stone for the hydroelectric power plant was laid in 2019, while the deadline for initiating commercial operations is July 2025.

Benefits of the Kiru Hydroelectric Power Project

  • The project will address the energy deficiency in the Northern region of India and will simultaneously improve the transportation, education, medical, and road transportation network in the region.
  • The power plant will bring electricity to the rural area, which will reduce the dependency of the locals on alternative sources of energy.
  • Increased power supply in the region will enhance the development of small-scale and cottage industries in the region, which will in turn provide jobs and revenue to the locals.

What are the Corruption Allegations Surrounding the Kiru Hydel Project?

  • Satya Pal Malik, who was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir between August 23, 2018, and October 30, 2019, had claimed that he was offered a Rs 300-crore bribe for clearing two files, including one pertaining to the project.
  • In 2022, the J&K government had asked for a CBI probe into alleged malpractices (flagged earlier by Satya Pal Malik) in the awarding of two government contracts.
  • The award of civil works (to Patel Engineering Ltd - a major infrastructure and construction company that was founded in 1949) has been called into question.
  • The CBI has booked then CVPPPL chairman, MD and Directors, along with Patel Engineering.
  • The FIR says an investigation had been conducted by the J&K Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Power Department.
  • The FIR alleges that guidelines for e-tendering in the awarding of civil works in the project were not followed.
  • Further, allegations of substandard work and failure to provide jobs to local youth have been made against the hydel project.

Q1) What is the run-of-the-river hydropower project?

Run-of-river hydropower is a facility that channels flowing water from a river through a canal or penstock to spin a turbine. Typically, a run-of-river project will have little or no storage facility.

Q2) What is the capacity of hydropower in India?

According to the CEA, the assessed hydro power potential in the country is about 145320 MW (for projects with capacity above 25 MW). Presently, 42104.6 MW (29%) out of 145320 MW has been developed and 15023.5 MW (10.3%) is under construction.

Source: CBI raids J&K ex-Governor Satya Pal Malik’s premises in Kiru hydroelectric project case | IE